(HockeySTL)-- The Blues, in a prelude to a bigger chunk of roster cuts coming in the next 48 hours, have announced that they have assigned forward Ivan Barbashev to the QMJHL.
Barbashev, 18, played in two of the Blues’ first three preseason games, his most recent being on Thursday night. He had no points, but said he gained invaluable experience from his week in camp, where he was slotted on a line with David Backes and T.J. Oshie.
“It’s a really huge experience for me,” said Barbashev. “Everybody knows I’m playing with Oshie and Backes and it’s really, really important for me. I can learn something from them.”
The forward will return to the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, where he has tallied 130 points (43 goals, 87 assists) the past two seasons.
Barbashev, who was drafted by the Blues in the second round of this year’s draft, said he definitely felt behind the pace in the early stages of the preseason, playing with top NHL players.
“I’m behind them for sure right now because those guys have played for a long time in the NHL and I’m just starting my way and it’s my first camp,” Barbashev said. “I’m pretty sure there’s many more. I’ll catch up on everything pretty soon. I’ll be working hard to get on this level.”
The forward also had trouble understanding the drills in the first few days of training camp, but later felt like he was more up to speed.
“The first practice was pretty hard for me because I was on the first line and I kind of didn’t understand a couple of the drills,” Barbashev admitted. “So for me it was pretty hard.”
One bright spot for the forward, who was never expected to make the Blues’ roster this season, is that he survived the first round of roster cuts, which took place earlier in the week. The Blues want Barbashev to continue his development with his junior team and expect him to be an NHL player in the future.
“Yeah, it is hard,” Barbashev said. “I know everything else, how to work hard and what it takes to play in the NHL, to get to this level. I’m just going to work on it.”
The Blues also announced on Friday that they had assigned 11 players to the AHL's Chicago Wolves. The players assigned were: forwards Rob Bordson, Terry Broadhurst, Jacob Doty, Benn Ferriero, Zach Pochiro, Ryan Tesink and Yannick Veilleux, along with defensemen Mathieu Brodeur, Joel Edmundson and Jani Hakanpaa. Goaltender Niklas Lundstrom was also assigned to Chicago.
Aside from assigning Barbashev and the 11 other players, the Blues also placed seven players on waivers on Friday. The waiver list included: Philip McRae, David Shields, Sebastian Wannstrom, Brent Regner, John McCarthy, Patrick Cannone and Jeremy Welsh. Those players will have to clear waivers before they can officially be assigned to the Wolves.
Following Friday's moves, the Blues' roster is at 41 players. The club is expected to make 11 more cuts in the next 48 hours.